Blue Planet II Has Inspired the BBC to Ban All Plastic Containers and Utensils by 2020

When the BBC nature documentary series “Blue Planet II” aired in October 2017, series narrator and naturalist Sir David Attenborough asked that people around the world begin taking plastic pollution more seriously. Plastic is not only affecting animal life, but may even be contaminating our tap water in the form of  tiny particles. If nothing is done, plastic pollution will become even more of an issue than it already is — and it’s huge right now.

It seems the BBC itself has been listening to Attenborough’s pleas: the media company has announced it intends to ban the use of all single-use plastics by 2020. It’s starting the plastic ban with cups and utensils this year, before moving on to plastic containers in 2019. According to the UK news outlet, nearly 2 million plastic cups are used by BBC visitors and staff each year.

“Like millions of people watching Blue Planet II, I was shocked to see the avoidable waste and harm created by single-use plastic,” said Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, in the news article about the plastic ban. “We all need to do our bit to tackle this problem, and I want the BBC to lead the way. Scrapping throwaway plastic cups and cutlery is the first step, and with our plan I hope we can have a BBC free of single-use plastic altogether.”

As of Tuesday, February 13, the BBC reports that some of its kitchens have already transitioned to using glasses in place of plastic cups. Later in the month, a coffee cup recycling scheme will be implemented and tested out.

It’s refreshing to see a company as large as the BBC step up and publicly address the plastic issue, but it’s going to take a lot more to reduce the effects of plastic pollution. Fortunately, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to end plastic waste in the UK by 2042, and the EU has launched an initiative to ensure all plastic packaging in the country is reusable or recyclable by 2030.

We may be able to achieve even greater success if we’re able to implement other ideas put forward in recent years, such as engineer Toby McCartney’s desire to use recycled plastic to repair roads, or the plastic-eating caterpillars discovered by Federica Bertocchini.

We’re certainly not desperate for solutions to plastic pollution. It’s simply a matter of utilizing them effectively, and making sure those efforts are maintained.

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Xperia XA1 family’s Oreo updates will ditch built-in blue light filter, meaning that zero Sony phones will come with any form of ‘night mode’

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These days, many manufacturers include some sort of blue light filter or “night light” in their phones’ ROMs. Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and some other companies are on the list, and Sony was as well with its “Good night actions” function in Xperia Actions for phones in the XA1 family. However, following the impending Oreo updates, no Sony phone will have a built-in blue light filter.

This news comes by way of Sony Xperia’s official Twitter account.

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Xperia XA1 family’s Oreo updates will ditch built-in blue light filter, meaning that zero Sony phones will come with any form of ‘night mode’ was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Oh, Brother: People Might Not Take This Potential Malaria Drug Just Because it Turns Their Urine Blue

Among the things human beings are desperately attached to, the color of their urine probably was…never one you ever would’ve considered. And yet: Some people are, in fact, so attached to the color of their urine that they’d rather get malaria than see the color of their pee change.

Background: You know mosquitoes, because mosquitoes are awful. Their bites itch, and some of them even come with malaria, an infectious disease that (per the World Health Organization) caused 445,000 deaths in 2016 alone. Which isn’t to say we don’t already have antimalarial drugs—we do. But they famously have some pretty terrible side effects (like everything from incredibly intense nightmares to bouts of psychosis). And people, naturally, don’t want to take those drugs, because of those side effects. And even when people do take them, the drugs might not work, since the parasite that causes malaria is becoming resistant to them.

So! Scientists have been grinding away trying to develop effective treatments that aren’t so potentially problematic for patients. And recently, they’ve maybe found a promising candidate. Earlier this month, we reported that researchers had discovered that methylene blue — a blue dye harmless to people — was surprisingly effective at killing malaria parasites. Patients treated with a combination of the blue dye, along with an existing antimalarial drug called artemisinin, were cured of malaria in just two days.

That’s the good news — the treatment was effective. The bad news? It turned patients’ urine blue.

You might think: Who cares? As it turns out: People. Who might care enough to the point where they don’t actually take the medication, according to Teun Bousema, a microbiologist at Radboud University Medical Center and an author of the recent study. 25 percent of the “mild adverse events” causing reluctance to take the medication were because of the blue urine — so, yeah, people notice it. “Development of blue urine could affect compliance,” the study authors wrote.

Methylene blue’s bold tint has been its biggest hurdle to acceptance since it was first discovered in the 19th Century. A 1892 study on the drug noted that its unappealing, dramatic hue means it’s “it is not very likely that methylene blue will be much used outside of hospitals,” NPR noted.

“Because of the color, it never really took off,” study author Ingrid Chen told NPR. “The knee-jerk reaction is, ‘my body’s full of this chemical,’… It looks worse than it is.”

The blue urine might look unappealing, but it really isn’t that big a deal. It has no effect on health, and according to research published to The Journal of Anesthesiology, Pain Management, Intensive Care & Resuscitation, the blue color only lasts several hours. And in the study, when people were warned of the side effect, they didn’t seem to mind it much, Bousema said (though they seemed to learn to skip the clean tighty-whities that day, since the blue urine does stains clothing, according to The New York Times). 

You’d think that, in comparison, antimalarials currently on the market don’t stand a chance. But, unfortunately, people have long been freaked out by the color of their own pee as an indicator of their health. And, well, that blue color might just be too much for some people to get used to.

Bousema told the New York Times that this side effect is one that “we need to solve.” As Bousema and his team continue to evaluate the treatment, hopefully they’ll figure out a way to counteract the side effect to ensure that everyone who should be taking the drug does so—without having to worry about staining their clothes blue.

The post Oh, Brother: People Might Not Take This Potential Malaria Drug Just Because it Turns Their Urine Blue appeared first on Futurism.


Samsung Galaxy S9+ image leak shows Coral Blue color

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Another Samsung Galaxy S9 color option has leaked.

Images that show the Samsung Galaxy S9+ in Coral Blue have been shared by Evan Blass. The phone features a light blue back, just like the Coral Blue Galaxy S8 that launched last year.

Blass has said that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be offered in four colors: Titanium Gray, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue, and Midnight Black. Samsung has a history of launching additional colors for its flagship phones post-launch, though, so don’t be surprised if we see more GS9 and GS9+ color options in the months after they hit stores.

Samsung will officially unveil the Galaxy S9 and S9+ on February 25. It’s rumored that the phones will then launch on March 16. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Samsung Galaxy S9+ in Coral Blue swims to the surface

According to @evleaks, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will come in four colors: Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Titanium Gray and Coral Blue. Yesterday we saw the duo in purple, today comes the blue version of the S9+. We think we have the complete set. Renders by dbrand do a good job of portraying the black S9 duo. Then there are these renders (with a transparent case) that show off the gray one (courtesy of And for completeness sake, the purple color from yesterday. Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ in Midnight Black, Titanium Gray and Lilac… – Latest articles